Smart pacer Bowles ‘em over!

By Peter Wharton

When North Island enthusiast Ken Bowles and his son Steve joined a squash club at Manurewa about 40 years ago little did they realise that it would hatch an involvement in harness racing that is continuing to flourish today.

Son Of Mac winning at Melton
(c) photography: Stuart McCormick

“We struck up a friendship with a lot of trotting guys who were members of the club including Gary Jones, Wayne Larsen and Barry, Mark and Owen Purdon,” Steve said. “We ended up leasing a horse called Intense, who gave Derek Balle his first ever driving success at Wellington.

“Dad took to harness racing like a duck to water. He used to help out at stables at the weekends.”

Ken Bowles’ first foray into the breeding side of the business was the Lopez Hanover Lusty Lopez, whom he bought for a meagre $500.

Her first foal was the Tay Bridge mare Lusty Bridge, who won four races.

At the stud Lusty Bridge left seven winners including Megastep, a Soky’s Atom mare who won three races and took a record of 1:57.5 and became the dam of the good Perth winner Jasami (1:58.3).

An unraced daughter of Lusty Bridge in That’s It (by New York Motoring) has really established this line to some purpose.

Though That’s It’s first two issues were of little account, her third and last foal, the McArdle mare Lusty Mac, won nine races and $132,216 in stakes and was well above the average.

“She was a very good mare. She won the Manawatu Cup and a couple of Group 3’s for mares at Alexandra Park,” Steve said.

Son Of Mac and mum Lusty Mac

Upon her retirement Lusty Mac was initially mated with American Ideal and the result of the union is the exciting four-year-old Son Of Mac.

Beginning his career as a two-year-old with the then Cambridge-based Kyle Marshall, Son Of Mac won twice and finished a close third to Merlin and Don’t Stop Dreaming in the $200,000 Harness Million. The following season he emerged successful at Alexandra Park and finished runner-up in the $130,000 Great Northern Derby and the Group 2 Alabar 3YO Classic.

Relocating with the Marshall team to Victoria 14 months ago, Son Of Mac wasted no time into settling in his new environment, winning at his first four appearances including three at Melton.

However, the entire was then sidelined for nine months following surgery to remove bone chips in his front knees and a growth on a back hoof.

In the meantime Ken Bowles passed away from a cruel disease in January.

Returning to the fray in May, the bay American Ideal entire re-entered the winning lists at his third start at Melton on June 22, leading most of the way and effortlessly beating a strong field.

It was his eighth success from 19 starts and lifted his stake tally to $107,218.

“Son Of Mac hasn’t got to where Lusty Mac got yet but he’s not far away. Hopefully he will keep on improving,” Steve Bowles, who bred the entire with his late father, his wife Megan and mother Irene, said.

Since producing Son Of Mac in 2019, Lusty Mac has left the yearling filly Lil Mac (by Bettor’s Delight).

“She has been broken in and is going back for another prep with Kyle’s dad David Marshall,” Steve said.

“She’s been served by American Ideal and is due to drop in October.”

“Lusty Mac and her daughter are the last one’s we have from this family. Hopefully she can throw a few more winners for us.”